When plotting out this upcoming week, I knew I would be writing the Guru Daily today. I vowed to stay away from the labor situation, because the media (including us) has overreacted to every up and down, thanks to a dearth of anything else to report on. But we start Monday with some optimism, including a potential calendar for the start of the 2011 league year.
Deal is potentially on the horizon… Yeah, we’ve been hearing this week is huge for a while so it shouldn’t come as a total surprise, but there is apparently real optimism around the NFL that a framework CBA could be in place and voted on by the time the owners meet in Atlanta on July 21, as reported by ESPN. What’s funny is that it appears the rookie wage scale, essentially a slotting system to prevent deals like JaMarcus Russell’s from ever happening again, has become the major point of contention between the two sides. In short, the owners want longer and cheaper deals for rookies, while the players are willing to go cheaper so long as the young players can get free agency a year sooner (four-year deals as opposed to five). On one [...]
Thursday brought us a long, tense day of labor negotiations, and now an absolutely crucial time continues in New York today. Elsewhere, a decision in Tennessee leaves the league with one less capable veteran quarterback.
Collins retires … If you take a look at the numbers – 3,439 completions (9th); 6,193 attempts (9th); and 40,441 yards (11th) – the average fan probably wouldn’t guess they belong to Kerry Collins. After a somewhat underrated 16-year career, the 38-year-old Collins opted to retire Thursday, thus ending speculation that he’d re-sign in Tennessee and hold the starting QB job while rookie Jake Locker tries to adjust to the pro game.
As a fellow product of Penn State, I salute Kerry Collins for an undefeated 1994 season.
Collins had an up-and-down career, beginning when he was the 5th overall pick out of Penn State in the 1995 draft and the first ever pick of the expansion Carolina Panthers. He proceeded to lead the team to the NFC Championship game in his second year and the team’s second year. But his career with the Panthers and then the Saints in the ‘90s was derailed by problems with alcohol before he went through rehab and resurrected his career [...]
We have typically tried to avoid the news coming out of labor talks in recent weeks, but there is no denying Thursday is a big day when it comes to taking the next (and hopefully final) step in getting a deal done.
We all may love New York if it become the site of a CBA agreement.
Players, owners to rejoin talks … on Thursday in New York. After two days in which the lawyers from both sides met to get some details of a possible agreement hammered out, the focus now shifts back to the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, and head of NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, as well as the players and owners who will meet for the first time since last Friday in Minneapolis. It was reported that steps were taken this week to get a deal done, but the largest issue, the revenue split, has apparently not been fully ironed out. One of the parts of that revenue split are the benefits for retired players, and the group representing them has filed a lawsuit to halt negotiations because they feel the active players are not doing a proper job representing them. Judge Arthur Boylan is scheduled to begin [...]
The NFL and NFLPA lawyers got back to work on Tuesday, hammering out the legal mumbo jumbo that would be a part of any final CBA deal. The two sides met for nearly eight hours, so while they cannot tackle the revenue split issue without the owners and the players present in negotiating sessions, they can get done some of the more tedious legwork, allowing a verbal/handshake agreement to turn into a signed, sealed, and delivered CBA more quickly than we might expect once that agreement is reached. They’ll continue that work today, and we continue to wait…
Legal teams go back to work on the new CBA… As mentioned above, the lawyers on both sides of the debate are hammering out the little details while we wait for the owners and players to rejoin talks on Thursday, presumably to try to wrap up the revenue split issue, and in turn the final CBA. Once again, different sources have different ideas on exactly how “close” or “not close” the two sides are to reaching a deal. But the one agreement all sources seem to have is that there is a deal to be made and it’s certainly possible that deal is [...]
Not surprisingly, not a whole lot happened on Independence Day in the NFL world, but we hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend. Without any big news, let us simply dive into some quick nuggets.
Negotiations resume today … This week is without question a crucial time in labor negotiations as we move close to unofficial deadlines for getting something done without missing any time. Talks are resuming today in New York, and the most interesting news is that Chris Mortensen reports Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith won’t be present together until Thursday. That means there will be two days of lawyers drawing up potential language before everyone else arrives Thursday. In related news, retired players believe they don’t have enough of a voice in negotiations, and they’ve filed a complaint in court.
Nnamdi Asomugha is quite good at football … OK, we knew that already. But NFL.com has a quick breakdown of how many times elite CBs were targeted in the last three seasons, and the free agent Asomugha was thrown at just 2.2 times per game, allowing 1.2 catches. Asomugha gave up just 13 catches in 2010.
What a healthy Da'Quan Bowers could do…
Bowers insists he’s healthy … No [...]
A slow time of year for news is even slower during this holiday weekend, which means an abbreviated blog today. Here is a look at some of the news, notes, and nuggets from around the league.
We’ve gotten some interesting tidbits from Camp Alex, the 49er player-run workouts led by QB Alex Smith. However, one of the most important components of the team’s offense has been rehabbing across the country. RB Frank Gore broke his hip in November, but Smith said the updates he’s gotten on Gore have been “encouraging.” Also, Smith noted that Gore should ready when he hits the field since he met with RB coach Tom Rathman extensively before the lockout to learn the new offense.
A few weeks back, we learned that the #1 overall pick, QB Cam Newton, would be working with former Panther QB Chris Weinke to learn the team’s new offense. Newton got a playbook on the one day the lockout was lifted, so he’s been able to share that with Weinke. Newton is also getting help from former NFL QB Ken Dorsey, who played for new Panther OC Rob Chudzinski at the University of Miami and with the Browns. Dorsey’s knowledge of Chudzinski’s offense [...]
Over the last four months, we have become junior experts on labor law, simply by having a horse in this NFL lockout race (that horse is called “actual football”). And if there is one certain thing we have learned about labor law, it’s that there are two stages of deals: “done” and “not done.” Despite growing optimism over the last few weeks, the NFL still resides in that latter category, and until all the major parties finally put their John Hancocks on a finished product, there’s still a chance things can go awry. But we’ve also learned that ebbs and flows happen: positives can happen on bad days and negatives can happen on good days. So despite what we would call a “bad day” in labor negotiations yesterday, some interesting stuff went down.
Crazy day in lockout talks… Yes, we felt it too. At about 6 p.m. Central (the talks are taking place in Minnesota), when the NFL and NFLPA had already been meeting for nine hours, reports started to leak to the media that the talks had suffered a major setback, concerning the owners asking [...]
Is Michael Crabtree hurt or healthy? Is the lockout almost over or is there still a lot of work to be done? Is Carson Palmer finished in Cincinnati? We have a lot of questions with few concrete answers.
Crabtree says he’s fine … On Tuesday, the Sacramento Bee reported that 49er WR Michael Crabtree has been bothered by his left foot, which he had surgery on in 2009. Crabtree has sat out workouts for much of the Alex Smith-led sessions, but on Wednesday, he told reporters that everything was fine. And hey! Here’s Crabtree putting on shoes. Crabtree has caught some passes during workouts, and 49er OT Joe Staley stuck up for the receiver. Reporters have been allowed to watch only 30 minutes and haven’t seen Crabtree do much, but he’s insisted that he’s been active. So, if Crabtree is feeling even the slightest bit of discomfort, it probably isn’t a bad thing that he’s taking it easy during informal workouts. We really have no idea how significant the discomfort is though, and this is just one more story that makes us look forward to real football in September.
What $2 million looks like
Investigating the Cincinnati area real estate market … [...]
Even though labor negotiations appear to be in the final stages, players are not taking anything for granted and have continued workouts. It might be fun to discuss the rumors of player movement, but our only real source of concrete information comes from the practices being held at high schools and colleges across the country featuring your favorite NFL players (and a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of).
While that magazine cover may be over two years old, the foot in that boot remains an issue for Crabtree.
Good news, bad news at Camp Alex II … Alex Smith, who despite being unsigned, is running his second set of workouts for the 49ers this week. Rookie QB Colin Kaepernick decided to skip the NFLPA rookie symposium in favor of these workouts after being unable to do much work on the field during the last set while recovering from surgery he had early last month. Kaepernick admitted he needed to get his timing down, but felt good. Starting LT Joe Staley doesn’t think Kaepernick comes across as a rookie and his play in practice has already excited the team. Now, the bad news. WR Michael Crabtree, who missed time at [...]
Hey! We are preparing for another week of labor talks, so [INSERT CLEVER BLOG INTRO HERE]. In the meantime, there’s still plenty of news to go around this week.
Labor talks heating up yet again… With crunch time approaching to save a healthy free-agency period before a full training camp, the NFL and its players are back to meeting in hopes of ending the lockout and striking a new labor deal. This time, they’re meeting in Minnesota, and optimism remains high that deal will be struck not only in enough time to preserve the preseason and regular season, but to preserve training camp as well. It appears as if the snags in last week’s talks were over a potential rookie wage scale, which both sides are willing to implement but have different ideas on exactly how to do that.
Hillis reveals he played with broken ribs… Brown RB and new Madden cover boy Peyton Hillis had a magical breakout year in 2011, but the honeymoon ended just soon enough so his owners didn’t benefit from using him in the fantasy postseason. Hillis combined for just 32/107/0 on the ground and 4/31/0 through the air over the final three weeks of the season, [...]